MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Although the team’s record is .500, WVU football players have sliced through the national rankings in individual statistics.
Going into Virginia Tech tomorrow, offensive coordinator Gerad Parker leads the No. 11 offense in the country in third-down conversions (.567), No. 17 in scoring offense (45 points per game), tied with Arkansas State, and No. 32 in passing yards per completion (14.11).
WVU leads the Big 12 in third-down conversions, but the TCU Horned Frogs came in at No. 13 in this week’s NCAA College Football Rankings. In terms of yards of scoring offense, Oklahoma and Auburn are tied for the national lead, while the Baylor Bears come in at No. 8 and WVU’s Week 1 foe Maryland is tied for 11. To round out the passing yards per completion, the Kansas State Wildcats lead the Big 12 at No. 16, but no other Big 12 teams fall into the top-30.
Defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley’s team broke through the top-10 to land at No. 9 in the country in red zone defense (.429), leading the Big 12. The Mountaineers also dropped eight spots to a seven-way-tied no. 29 in first down defense (31); the Horned Frogs lead the Big 12, coming in fifth, and the Iowa State Cyclones join the top-10 at No. 8. The Wildcats are tied at the No. 29 spot with the Mountaineers. In scoring defense, WVU is tied for No. 34 with the Wildcats and UTSA with 15. WVU dropped two spots to no. 39 in rushing defense, garnering nearly 100 yards per game at 99.6.
Virginia Tech only leads the Mountaineers in scoring defense, tied for 18.
Individually, this Mountaineer team is even stronger.
Junior wide out and kick off returner Winston Wright Jr. WVU kick off return team dropped one spot to No. 2 in the nation in kick off return yards, averaging 51.2 yards per return. Currently, Boston College owns the no. 1 spot, after Travis Levy returned the ball 96 yards for a touchdown during the team’s 45-28 win over UMass. Wright Jr. still leads the nation in kick off returns individually though. He also landed at second in all-purpose yards (202.5 yards per game), behind Michigan’s running back Blake Corum.
Mountaineer fan favorite running back Leddie Brown is in a six-way tie for second in the nation in touchdowns, at five. Duke’s running back Mataeo Durant leads the nation, squeaking by with six. Brown continues to lead the Big 12 in both touchdowns and scoring per game (15.0).
On the defensive side of the ball, nose tackle Akheem Mesidor is No. 4 in the conference in tackles for loss (1.2). Mesidor, defensive end Taijh Alston, and defensive tackle Dante Stills are tied for no. 11 for sacks in the Big 12. To round out the secondary, defensive tackle Sean Martin is tied for no. 1 and no. 6 nationally for fumbles recovered.
On special teams, kicker Casey Legg is tied for first in the nation for field goal percentage, going 2-0 on attempts.